June 2009

Pie for Dinner

by Sally on June 16, 2009

On a recent episode of the “Today” show, Dr. Nancy Syderman was debunking diet myths (and promoting her book, Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat). She talked about some of the usual stuff, like how white foods such as potatoes and bananas aren’t the enemy, why you need some fat in your diet, and that frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh (assuming you don’t buy the kind packed in high-fat sauce).

But there was one piece of advice that surprised me: If you really must have the pie (or the cheesecake or the chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream), have it for dinner.

I was surprised because it seems to run contrary to everything RDs say about making every bite count. But I don’t think it’s bad advice. It’s actually something I’ve (secretly) practiced for years. I’m all about calories-in-calories-out. Yes, you should get a balance of carbs, fats, and protein. But I don’t buy that the exact ratios can make or break your target weight. And since I tend to tally up fruit servings and scan food labels before I eat something anyway, I cut myself some slack now and again. So if the leftover birthday cake in the refrigerator is truly calling to me, I’ll serve myself a slice and call it lunch. In my mind, it doesn’t make sense to eat a 300-calorie sandwich and then splurge on a 300-calorie slice of cake. Cut out the middle man and suddenly that splurge doesn’t look so bad after all.

Two caveats: This isn’t something I’d recommend on a regular basis. On most days, my diet’s pretty balanced and I’m able to tame my sweet tooth with a small piece of chocolate.

And most importantly, don’t let your kids catch you doing this. You’ll never hear the end of it.

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